Anbang Insurance poised to sell 375 luxury units at Waldorf Astoria

Business | 12 Jun 2019 1:44 pm

Anbang Insurance Group is preparing to start selling new luxury condos at the Waldorf Astoria, four years after the Chinese company acquired the Park Avenue landmark for US$1.95 billion (HK$15.21 billion), Bloomberg reports.

Anbang chose Douglas Elliman Real Estate to market 375 units at the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria. Sales will begin this autumn.

The construction project, which includes renovations to the art deco hotel, is slated for completion in 2021.

"It’s not a good time for selling. The condos will enter a Manhattan market that’s glutted with choices for wealthy buyers. Still, the historical pedigree of the building, which has hosted US presidents and a long list of foreign dignitaries, combined with a mix of unit sizes, should help the Waldorf apartments stand out,'' said Susan de Franca, chief executive officer of Douglas Elliman Development Marketing. “It’s really bringing back the splendor of a bygone era. We will be appealing to local, national and international purchasers.”

Anbang’s plan to start sales was reported earlier on Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal. If the building’s reputation helps drive condo purchases, it has also highlighted the prolonged closure of the hotel portion of the Waldorf, with lavish public spaces that received landmark protection in 2017.

Anbang – which is shedding assets, including a portfolio of 15 hotels – was seized by its Chinese government regulator last year, raising questions about the future of the iconic property.

The closure has also weighed on Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., which has viewed the property as a flagship for its fast-growing Waldorf Astoria brand.

Last year, Hilton Chief Executive Christopher Nassetta said that he would consider opening another Waldorf in New York City if Anbang’s renovations were delayed significantly.

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